What can I say about the Heart Run of 2011? It was a cold blustery day, that was only made colder by activity followed by inactivity. I had hoped my new roommate and one of my friends would join me, but they bailed at the last second, so I was on my own, yet again. Of course, that didn’t stop me from participating. I got there about an hour early, and while it was chilly out, I didn’t feel like it was too cold. The clouds were shrouding the sky everywhere except for over the mountains, which made the morning look pretty dramatic, indeed.
The Heart Run this year had a nice tribute going on for me. About three years ago, my father had a heart attack alone in his apartment, and died. It was not the first one he had, but it certainly was the last. While it took some time to motivate me into a healthier life style, I am finally starting to get there, so it was nice to be surrounded by those who had experienced heart disease and lived through it, or share in the memory of those who did not survive it, and still, fitness and running aficionados who just love to move and sweat for the sake of it.
I guess there were about 6000 registrants this year, making the Heart Run one of the biggest in the state. I started out with the timed running group, even though I planned walking most of it. I jogged for about the first 2 minutes, mostly because there were people lining the barriers cheering us on, and well, I wanted to feel special. However, as it has been for all of my other races, the shin splints got me pretty quick, and took the rest of the first mile to work out.
The Run started in the very back parking lot of the UAA campus, went down to the main road, took a detour, wrapped around APU’s campus and went back to the parking lot, making a very odd shaped T. Even though I was experiencing some shin splints during the first mile, there was this group of people walking ahead of me, and I decided I wanted to catch up to them. So I jogged. I picked light posts to start and stop at, and completed the first mile at 17:50.
I was really excited just after we passed the mile 2 marker at 33:22 because just beyond it were a group of native drummers. I love drums for the atmosphere they create, for some reason they just lift my heart. I wish I had actually stopped to get a better picture of them, but alas, I was in my zone, and pictures are a distraction.
As we wrapped behind the APU dorms, and started heading downhill again, I decided I was going to jog all the way down it. So I did. I stopped momentarily to take this picture:
Isn’t he totes cute? He was giving out high fives to all the passersby.
Now, I know I shouldn’t get all uppity about my time, and that finishing is the greatest part of participating because it means I’m capable, and while my friends and strangers were home nursing hangovers, I was being awesome and healthy. But. The first woman to finish the race did so in 16:58. That is less time than it took me to finish one mile, and she did just over 3. I’m so jealous. Anyway. I’m nearly over it.
Afterward, I stuck around to see who would win the drawing of Alaska Airline tickets, and got a slice of cinnamon chip bread from Great Harvest. It was so cold, I thought I would cry. I should have gone around the track again, so I could stay warm! I caught the bus in the nick of time, did some light grocery shopping, went home, talked with my roommate a little bit, and then slept for 16 hours. It was great, but I’m thinking I need to work on my stamina a little bit more. After all, it was only 3.1 miles.